Apology Strategies Used by Sudanese Learners of English

Abdul Majeed Al-Tayib Umar

Abstract


This study investigates the speech act of apology as performed by Sudanese Learners of English and compare it to that of native. The ultimate goal of this study is to find out if the Sudanese Learners use the same strategies and semantic formulas used by native speakers to express their apologies. A Discourse Completion Test is used to generate data from the two groups (100 Sudanese learners of English and 15 British). The data analysis reveals some interesting results. Initially, it is found that the Sudanese learners of English, in many cases, adopt apology strategies that are quite similar to those used by native speakers. However, a more meticulous scrutiny of the data reveals both qualitative and quantitative differences between the two groups' apologies. Both groups, for instance, use "Explicit Expression of Apology" in response to all situations, however, it is observed that the Sudanese sample has significantly under supplied the use of intensifiers commonly associated with this strategy by native speakers. The researcher attributes these deviations to cultural differences between the two groups. This proves that the Sudanese learners of English could not always disassociate themselves from their native language cultural background when apologizing in English. Consequently, pragma-linguistic tra-nsfer occurs and stains the performance of the Sudanese group apology. This finding may have some important implications for English language educators in the Sudan. Syllabus designers and English language teachers should do their best to increase their students' awareness of issues of  cultural differences.


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